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Sensex down 400 points as global markets crash on US recession fears
August, 05th 2011

The Indian markets have joined a global sell-off and have opened gap down. The Sensex was down over 400 points while the Nifty fell over 130 points to slip below 5200 in opening trade. The selling pressure was so huge that only 15 stocks on the BSE 500 index were trading higher. Among the 30 Sensex stocks, only ONGC was trading higher.

At 1015, the Sensex was down 418 points to 17,275 and the Nifty was trading 128 points to 5,204. Reliance fell nearly 2 per cent to slip below the crucial Rs. 800 mark. IT major Infosys was down over 3 per cent to hit a yearly low. At 0930, Infosys was trading at Rs. 2,619.

Some other stocks to hit 52-week lows are PSU major Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), Jindal Steel (JSPL), Vedanta Group Company Sterlite and Sesa Goa, government owned Steel major SAIL, Aditya Birla Group's Hindalco, Sajjan Jindal's JSW Steel, JP Associates, GMR Infra, Crompton, Unitech and Bharat Forge.

Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings said, "This is not a one day thing... this has been building for a while... people have been worried about markets... commodity markets have been doing better but at the moment everything is going down because everybody is afraid of everything."

Fears of another recession in the US, accentuated by a spate of weak economic reports, have led to a crash on the Wall Street. The Dow tanked 512.76 points, or 4.3 per cent to 11,383, in its steepest point decline in two and a half years. The Dow is now in the negative territory for the year.

Speaking to NDTV, Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Asset Management's (EM), said, "The main thing is the uncertain results in everybody withdrawing to what they concern as safe haven... in this case its more panic because the US treasury is no more considered safe."

A weekly close below 5,200 might take the broader Nifty all the way to 4,800. Shardul Kulkarni of Angel Broking said the fall was not entirely expected though the pace of fall is surprising. "It is too early and too dangerous to go long on the markets," Mr Kulkarni said.

Sandeep Bhardwaj of Tower Capital said, "It is just the beginning and wild moves are expected." Ultimately the western economies are realising that printing more money is not going to help... economies need to shrink before they grow, Mr Bhardwaj said.

"Investors should put their money in fixed deposits to get 10-11 per cent interest", Mr Bhardwaj said. Pharma and Telecom is the place to be if one has to stay invested in stocks, he added.

Manufacturing activity in the US has been at a standstill, services that account for 90 percent of the American work force, is growing at the slowest rate in a year and a half. Consumer spending declined in June for the first time in almost two years. To top it up, the GDP is growing at the slowest pace since the end of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate continues to be at a high 9.2 per cent.

In an indication of worsening US economy, some banks are planning to charge investors for their savings account.

European economies continue to reel under the debt crisis, with more countries joining Greece and Ireland. Italy and Spain might need help from the European Union.

The Asian markets were deep in the red led by the Hang Sang that slumped nearly 5 per cent. Japan's Nikkei was down 3.5 per cent.

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